After spending a few days in Newberry before and after my mom’s funeral there, I have come to realize how attached I am to that place. In my stories I call it Prosperity, and it is a hybrid of the two towns that rub up against each other. Newberry is the larger of the two, but it is no more progressive.
I just read this article about a murder in that recently occurred in Newberry:
The Black Panthers are demanding it be called a hate crime, and from the details I read in this piece, that is what it is. But Newberry, like many areas of SC, remains stuck in pre-civil rights ideology.
This quote alone demonstrates that there is a hot bed of hatred that lies under the town’s pleasantries:
“You watch who they put in office and make sure they represent this case as a federal hate crime, and make sure they move fast on this case, so you won’t have to worry about stopping at a BP service station or leaving the chicken plant and somebody blowing your head off and dragging you down the street by a rope,” Nzinga said.
This makes me hate where I come from. Yet I love it for the inspiration it provides me. It’s as if Newberry is demanding that I write about it, and that I view it not just through the eyes of an 11 year old girl named June.